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Monday, November 29, 2010

Characteristics of Our Daughter

Giggle Time with Eliana and Me

Eliana is a little over 5 months old. Here are some things I know about her.

* She often sneezes in twos like her dad.
* Today is the first time I've tickled her belly, and she thought it was funny.
* An over tired Eliana makes for grumpy parents.
* She loves to gnaw on her hands.
* She can roll over from stomach to back, although she still doesn't like tummy time.
* Eliana can grip my finger and then pull herself from back to side. With a little tug on my part she'll go to her stomach.
* She gets lonely quickly if you're not paying attention to her. This is much more apparently in the afternoon and when she is getting ready for a nap.
* Bath time is still fun. I don't think she has figured out that moving her legs makes the water splash.
* She loves to sleep in her swing. I'm in the process of trying to train her to sleep without motion. This process isn't too much fun for her or me.
* Eliana loves to be rocked to sleep. If I catch the window of time just right, it only takes about a minute for her eyes to close. Normally it only takes a few minutes, but there have been times when we have rocked and walked for quite some time.
* Toys are suddenly quite important to Eliana.
* Kicking off her socks is a daily habit.
* She still enjoys being swaddled.
* The car isn't nearly the nightmare it was when she was younger. If she is just eaten, we often can go a whole car ride without hearing her scream.
* Eliana has a faint Mongolian spot like I did.
* She also has strawberry birth marks like I did.
* The longest she has slept was 6 hours straight. Sadly, that isn't the norm. Four hours is much more common.
* Eliana will spot Kyle or I and focus on us if she is visiting others. I'll be honest, it makes me feel pretty special.
* Today she started trying out this raspy whisper sound that I can't even duplicate. I tried to catch it on film, but apparently that sound wasn't available anymore.
* On occasion over the last week and a half, Eliana has tried out a really high pitch sound that reminds me of a cat. While some find it funny or even cute, it just hurts my ears.
* Eliana's nails grow really fast. I have to cut them at least once a week.
* Eliana hasn't figured out why pulling on the string connected to her pacifier causes it to pull out of her mouth. She often has a slightly surprised look on her face, or better yet, an offended one like I did it on purpose. :)
* Eliana still spits up at least a dozen times a day. And no, I am not exaggerating. Thankfully, it often isn't as much spit up. It really startles other people, but I am totally used to it. It doesn't faze me in the slightest.
* There are days when I am so frustrated that I think Eliana will be an only child. But there are other days when I think a sibling down the road would be okay. Sometimes I have both of those feelings in one day depending upon how things go.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

First Card Game and Other Fun

Eliana was very intent on helping me win!

Trisha, Taylor, and me

Eliana with her Nanny

Pop Pop, Nanny, and Eliana

Eliana with her Aunt Trisha
Eliana recently gained the hand eye coordination to look at a toy, grab it, and stuff as much of it as possible into her mouth.

Do you like the earings that GramE loaned Eliana?

Soon she will be sitting up on her own!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful Day 25: 5 Months

I am thankful that Eliana slept from 9:30ish last night to 3:30ish this morning. She has fallen asleep at 8, but it only lasted for about 20 minutes. That makes for a sad mama for the third night this week. She hasn't been sleeping well lately. Part of it is being out of town recently. But even before that, she switched from waking up once to waking up twice or even three times on a really bad night.

I know Eliana's pjs don't show that it is Thanksgiving, but they were warm for her last night. That counts for more than being "in season". :)

Eliana is 5 months old today. WOW!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful Day 24: Washer and Dryer

Today I am thankful for my washer and dryer. Can you tell why? Eliana spits up often, but that doesn't require a clothing change or two in today's case. Do you see all of the drool and spit up on the outfit above? I can't imagine if I had to hand wash and air dry everything.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful Day 23: Teething Toys

While visiting my family, my mom picked up Eliana's current favorite toy. This week she has learned to really grip the toy and enjoys chewing on it. It amazes me how I get to watch her learn new things. The week before we traveled to see family, she was just starting to enjoy toys. I had a fuzzy small rabbit that she was getting used to gripping, but she didn't care much for the fuzzy texture. Awe, but this toy seems to be perfect for her. I'm thankful for my mom's generosity in getting this toy.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thankful Day 22: Sleeping Eliana

I am thankful that Eliana is asleep. I just hope it for longer than the last 3 attempts to get her to sleep for the night:)

Thankful Day 21: Kyle's listening ears

I think that it can be hard to listen when, as soon as someone starts talking, you are thinking about what you will say back instead of listening to the rest of what they say. Or worse yet, you start talking while they are talking.

I went to a teacher conference over 3 years ago that made me really think about listening. I did an exercise with my students where I put them in pairs and had one person be the listener and one person be the speaker. On the first 30 seconds, I had the listener interrupt as much as possible. After trading jobs, we discussed what it made them feel like. Words like bad, sad, angry, frustrated, upset, mad, rude, erg, and others were talked about. Then I had them do 100% listening. That meant for 30 seconds straight, the listener couldn't say anything. Not one little thing. They could only listen. The kids felt great, like someone cared, special, and that they mattered. You know what else happened? The listener could actually tell you what the other person said when they listened 100%. We talked about how interrupting is really saying your words are more important than their words. That has stuck with me for years.

One of the things that makes Kyle great is that he works to read my face and then depending upon what it says, he will ask what I am thinking. He knows me well enough to know whether or not what I say is all I am thinking about or if I am trying to avoid saying all of what is on my mind. He also knows that I often have multiple things on my mind. For example, I am currently wondering when Eliana will stop crying and go to sleep for the night, if there will be corn at Thanksgiving, and how traveling with little ones is always an adventure.

I am thankful that God gave me a husband who is a good listener.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thankful Day 20: Helpers

Tonight my mom made spaghetti with meatballs and sausage. Yum!!! We had a lot of family over. There are so many things to be thankful for. Trisha and GramE helped set the table and do some final preparations for the meal. GramE was a big help when she bathed Eliana for the second time today since she had a major blow out. Thomas and I had great fun taking silly pictures. I got to catch up with family. One of the biggest blessings to Nanny was having Apa helping Nanny with the computer, pictures, and Facebook.

Thankful Day 19: Sisters

I am thankful for my sisters. Eliana and I have been visiting family for a few days. It has been great to spend time with several of my sisters. We all have such different personalities. It is funny to watch as we have changed over the years. It is so nice that we don't fight like we did when we were kids. I love that they think Eliana is better than cheesecake with that delicious chocolate sauce I talked about a few days ago.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful Day 18: Technology

I am thankful for cameras, blogs, Facebook, and email today. I was able to go on a nice walk with Eliana today and take pictures with a family member's camers. I can update family on how I am through my blog. I can chat with family through FB and email. I can stay in touch with long distant family and friends with email.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thankful Day 17: Talking

I've been able to talk with my mom a lot today. When we come to visit, it is rare that I get a long undivided conversation with anyone. There are just so many family members to catch up with, and often the reason for our visits are to celebrate someone's birthday. It can be hard to have long talks when everyone is gathered. It has been good to hear bits of my mom's testimony today. Boy did Jesus do a work in her. I wouldn't even be able to recognize the person she described of her early 20s.

Another form of talking that was simply delightful was to hear my brother and Eliana "talking". More like her trying out this new high pitch sound that reminds me of a cat, and him responding back with similar sounds. There is just something wonderful about seeing a man interact with a baby. I loved hearing them giggle at one another.

Thankful Day 16: Giggles and Naps

I am thankful that Eliana took some amazing nap (especially compared to today) yesterday. She also entertained my family with lots of giggles.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thankful Day 15: God's Timing

Today was a busy day! I prepared a meal for friends that have a 12 day old baby. She is simply adorable! I was amazed at how light she was! There is something breath taking about holding a brand new baby. I remember when Eliana was that small, but in a way it seems like so long ago.

After the meal I was heading to the dentist. I needed to drop Eliana off so that my cousin could watch her. My cousin called and was sick. Uh oh. What to do. I called Kyle, but he was swamped at work and had to stay there. I called my carpool buddy, but I'm pretty sure she was still at work. I was still at my friends' house, but there was no way I'd add Eliana to this family's already busy life. Another friend came by to drop off the brother of the newborn. I asked what she was up to for the rest of the day. Praise the Lord! She was not only available, she was excited to watch Eliana.

This is one of those times when I praise God for His timing and planning. He knew I'd need another friend to care for my little one before I did. If I had needed to go drop off Eliana some place, I probably would have been late to my appointment. It all worked out so nicely! Today I am thankful for God's timing and for my flexible, generous friend.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thankful Day 14: Potlucks!

There is just something special about potlucks! I love them. Kyle, Eliana, and I had a fabulous time at a church potluck today. I love seeing what everyone makes. I love catching up with people and seeing brand new babies! You may be wondering why Eliana would like potlucks. She liked this one because she slept in my arms during the meal and fellowship. My back is a little tender from it, but I knew that she had been fighting naps earlier. I knew that if I got her to sleep and laid her in her car seat she'd more than likely be up in 10 minutes or less. I know that because that is what happened at the park before we went to the potluck:)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thankful Day 13: Fish

For many moons, Kyle had fish at work. He recently brought them home. Eliana thinks they're pretty nifty. I mean think about, who do you know that stands on their head to eat? I'm thankful that God made creatures that are beautiful and entertaining.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thankful Day 12: 20 Weeks

Eliana is 20 weeks old today! That amazes me! It was this week last year that Kyle and I found out we were pregnant. She was just the size of a poppy seed back then! I remember being 20 weeks pregnant and thinking, "Wow! We're half way there." At that point we didn't know for sure if Eliana was a girl or a boy. 20 weeks, my how time flies by.

Thankful Day 11: New Recipes!!

I know this is getting out a day late, so I'll make it short. I'm excited that staying home with my little one has provided me the time to make new recipes. In between caring for Eliana, going to the grocery store, and going to the dentist, I made two recipes yesterday. One is for those peanut butter chocolate chip bars I made many posts ago. The new one is for chocolate cherry pie filling cupcakes! Later today I plan on making pumpkin pie bars! Don't worry, I'm not eating all of these in one sitting! I'm making desserts to celebrate the birth of a dear friend's baby. All of these recipes are coming from 101 Things to do with a Cake Mix. They are easy!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thankful Day 10: BSF

My Bible opened to Isaiah 12.

When I was in college, my mother-in-law would tell me about this amazing Bible study. I was way too busy with classes at the time (I took extra units) to add another commitment. My mentor when I got married also encouraged me to join. So, during my first year of teaching, I attempted to be apart of Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). I made it until October or November, and then dropped out. I was newly married and teaching for the first time. My time management was not the best, and I had to let it go.

Once I moved to our current city, I tried again. This time, I had an ally. A brand new friend and I went to the women's study on Monday nights and then spent a couple hours on Thursday nights do most of the study at a Starbucks. Having a friend as a form of accountability made a HUGE difference.

This year I switched to the day class. I was totally intimidated by this group of 700 women. I thought the night class was intimidating at first, but this was a whole new world. One thing I've learned in the past few weeks is that I'm super glad that BSF breaks up into small groups for discussion. It has made that lost in the crowd feeling calm way down. This year we are studying Isaiah, which most of the women today admitted has been challenging. So if you're studying it too, don't give up!

Today I am thankful that Eliana has done extremely well during BSF. She was only 11 weeks or so when I first brought her to BSF. I was t-e-r-r-i-f-i-e-d that she was squall during the lecture and all eyes would be on me. Instead I have found her to really good Wednesday mornings, and I credit that to a gracious God who knows I can only handle so much.

I'm also thankful for the seminar on sharing the gospel. The nuts and bolts of the seminar is to realize that God is perfect and we're not. God wants to have a relationship with us, but we can't do that on our own because we have disobeyed God. The way to have a restored relationship is through God's Son Jesus. Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross to pay the penalty for our disobedience. The best part is that he didn't stay in the grave. He rose again. Now we have a choice with what to do with this knowledge. We can be eternally separated from God for our disobedience, or we can accept Jesus as Lord of our life and let his shed blood cover our brokenness.

I'm not perfect, just ask anyone who knows me, but I am forgiven.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thankful Day 9: Hot Fudge

Have you ever had the hot fudge from the Cheesecake Factory? I think that if heaven was a flavor, it would taste of the hot fudge from Cheesecake Factory. It is one of the flavors that makes me pause, close my eyes, smile, and sigh with pure delight.

I was thinking about hot fudge and how it is a sweet treat that I rarely get. I could count on two hands how many times I've been to the Cheesecake Factory. It wouldn't be healthy for me, or Eliana for that matter, to eat hot fudge everyday. This lead me to think about things that I can have everyday and are good for me. Prayer is one of those things. I know it isn't related to food, but hear me out. Unlike hot fudge, I can pray whenever and wherever I want. Unlike hot fudge, prayer isn't only delightful to me. Unlike hot fudge, prayer really can have a lasting effect.

I wish I would have taken a picture of the cheesecake and hot fudge yesterday. It was simply amazing!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thankful Day 8: Family Part 2

Here are those pictures I said would be coming!

Thankful Day 8: Family

Pop Pop, Nanny, and Eliana

Sometimes it is really hard to be 2 hours away from most of my family. Today was SUPER SPECIAL because a bunch of my family came to see Eliana and me. Nanny, Pop Pop, my mom, Tara, Trisha, and Ashlee all came. We enjoyed a yummy lunch at Cheesecake Factory and a little bit of shopping too. A bonus to their visit is that they wanted to dote on my wee one. While I went to get the stroller, Eliana got a hat. Santa apparently comes quite early to the mall, and my family really wanted to see her meet him. I double checked with Kyle if he minded that they meet without him, and he was fine with that. I mentioned that she wasn't really dressed to meet Santa, and my sister's response was that we could fix that. So off we ventured to the land of baby clothes. We found a very cute dress. My mom also found a darling outfit and bib. She ended up being too fussy for a picture with Santa, but I'll post pictures of Eliana and her cute clothes and hat soon. Eliana did great for being out and about for hours. My family had come right after she ate, so she was delighted to have company. She took a good nap while we were at the restaurant. She ate again while my family shopped, and then was happy as a clam to go shopping. She is now sleeping. Today I am thankful for family visits! It made my day!

Eliana was enjoying the car ride playing with her Aunt Trisha.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thankful Day 7: Babies

Last week a friend had a baby. Today, two other friends are in the hospital to have their babies. It is such a blessing to have friends that are also on the adventure of motherhood.

Some improvements Eliana has made over the past 19 weeks:
* up 1 - 2 times a night
* not crying nearly as often in the car
* having fewer but longer naps
* enjoys family and friends
* has a good giggle session at least once a day
* makes good eye contact
* smiles often
* eats well
* not taking as long to eat as she used to
* grown out of her 0-3 month clothes
* blesses many people just by being around
* enjoys going on walks with me
* enjoys spotting Kyle or me when with others

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thankful Day 6: Cousins

I am glad that we got to celebrate Kallie's first birthday yesterday! It was great to see family and friends!

Here is Kallie in the special chair that Aunt Marcie, GramE, Grand Apa, Kyle, Eliana, and I got for Kallie!

For now they can both sit in it! Ha! One day I'm sure we'll laugh at how small they used to be.

Kallie was very interested in her cousin's toes!

Kallie and her Grandpa Mark

Kallie's friend Josie

Sadly, Kallie didn't absolutely love her cake! It was WAY cute though!

From left to right: GramE, Grandma Sue, Kallie, Candace, Eliana, Kallie's friend, Joe, and Josie

Thankful Day 5: Imagination

My imagination sometimes gets the best of me. I know I am posting about yesterday late, but we left town for a special celebration yesterday. So, back to my imagination. Yesterday I was glad that my hyper active imagination was totally wrong. I thought that Kyle could be home as early at 11:30 am yesterday. Kyle had worked some longer days so that he could get off few hours early yesterday. I was giving him until some time after 12 before I started to really get worried. Since I had him just about dead on the side of the road when it was nearing 1, I decided to wait just 3 more minutes before I started to really panic. As it turns out, Kyle was totally fine. He got backed up in some traffic and didn't leave when I thought he would be.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful Day 4: Children's Books

I went to the library earlier this week and checked out a handful of kids' books. Three of them were holds from another branch, and they needed that special librarian touch in order for me to check them out. The librarian asked if I had older children. I think he assumed that since I was checking out all kids' books that I had older kids who'd read them. I chuckled to myself and told him that no, I was just a teacher who loves books.

I joined a children's literature book club. We meet once a month on the first Thursday of the month. I LOVE finding other people who also enjoy a good book. If you are interested in joining us, let me know! The next two books are The Wednesday Wars and The Junkyard Wonders. Today I am grateful for an opportunity to get out of the house and talk with adults who loves to read things I love to read!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thankful Day 3: Fall

Fall is one of my all time favorite seasons. I'll be honest that the display of God's creativity can be distracting to me while driving. Green may be my favorite color, but a red leaf is inspiring. I'm so glad that God made the Earth tilt just so on its axis that we get seasons.

Inspiring, right?

I'm also glad that Eliana could enjoy my walk with me. She is getting to be so much better in the car. For this mini adventure, Eliana didn't cry on the way there or on the ride back!!!

Aren't these just fascinating? I've seen similar seeds in green and brown, but I've never noticed these hot pink ones before.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thankful Day 2: Water

Have you ever thought about how vital water is to your life? I am super grateful for hot showers. While overseas a number of years ago I took a cold shower every morning. Even though it was summer time, those sprays of cold water gave me the opportunity to pray that I wouldn't scream in the hotel from mere shock. I have curly hair that is only curly if I moose if right after a shower. Thus, even though there was the possibility of warm water in the evenings, I was kinds stuck with the cold showers in the morning.

I use water everyday. Eliana needs me to drink lots of water to help make her milk. I bathe Eliana nearly everyday. She spits up so often it is an odorous offense if I don't. Dishes, clothes, hands, and teeth get washed in water. My plants wilt when I forget to water them. Think about what a mess you'd have if you only had a toilet but didn't have water.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Thankful Day 1: Judy and Harry

I'm on an adventure to share something that I'm thankful for every day until Thanksgiving. I know I'll be out of town here and there, but I can have a goal.

Today I am thankful for my friends Judy and Harry. Judy put up with a pregnant carpooling buddy for most of last year! I know I was full of random questions, spots of forgetfulness, and huffs and puff getting in and out of her car. Harry knows my viewing selection for movies is very narrow, ie kid movies are my favorite. I do like thought provoking things, but I have a tendency to have nightmares. I love color and music, so scary, gory, lust filled moments in movies stick with me way too long. Harry has figured this out about me and carefully chooses movies that I'll enjoy. Judy loves my little one very much. I'm sure Harry is just waiting until he can place catch with her:)

We had them over for dinner two nights ago, and they had us over last night. It was so great to be pampered for the evening with a yummy meal, a good flick, and fabulous company. I loved watching Eliana and Judy play!

Here is my wee one arriving at Judy and Harry's! Isn't her hat adorable?